So your child is getting ready to make one of the big steps in life - starting school. Pretty neat - but you'd like to try to ease the transition from the freedom of play, to the regimen of school, and you've heard about some popular software...
Computer programs for kids who can't even tie their own shoes, let alone read?
Click on the titles to see SuperKids' complete reviews. If your children are a little younger, check out our reviews of multisubject software for
if they're a bit older, see our reviews of software for
Leapster Pet Pals [for ages 4 to 7] from LeapFrog features a wide range of age- and skill-level-appropriate games for its young players. Good entertainment value, and a fun way for kids to do a little brainwork. As a purely educational tool, it is probably best for the pre-school set.
Finding Nemo: Learning with Nemo [for ages 2 to 5] from Disney / Pixar, is a nicely animated adventure program incorporating preschool skills practice for four and five year-olds. Younger children may need additional support to use and enjoy the program.
The Wiggles: Wiggle Bay [for ages 3+] from Disney Interactive, is a collection of eight games and activities, hosted by well-known Australian children's entertainers, the Wiggles.
Beginning Sounds [for ages 3 to 5] from School Zone Publishing, is a very narrowly focused, electronic workbook for pre-readers.
Jay Jay Earns His Wings [for ages 3 to 7] from The Learning Company is a sound educational program for preschoolers and kindergarteners, covering numbers, patterns, sequences, and simple math.
Elmo's World - Shoes, Bugs, and Farms [for ages 2 to 5] from Encore Software, provides entertainment and some learning experiences for the very young child through the use of themes directed by the well-loved Elmo.
Does it Belong [for ages 3 to 5] from School Zone Interactive, is an electronic workbook for preschoolers, designed to help children practice identifying relationships within sets.
Thinking Skills [for ages 3 to 5] from School Zone Interactive, is an electronic workbook that challenges preschool children to organize information and solve problems that require following oral instructions, sequencing, matching, pattern recognition, relationships, and analogies.
Elmo's Deep Sea Adventure [for ages 3 and up] from Mattel Interactive, uses Elmo's charm to interest young children in the ocean, and to challenge their problem solving skills. Challenging program navigation and fine motor skill requirements make parental or caregiver presence helpful.
Caterpillar Adventures in Time [for ages 5 and up] from Mattel Interactive, allows the player to operate Caterpillar construction machines in 5 different time periods/locations. Preschoolers will be able to entertain themselves without parental assistence using this program but it's educational value is minimal.
Adiboo: Nature, Animals & Planets [for ages 4 to 6] from Knowledge Adventure, offers a variety of early learning activities in one interactive package. Despite its abundant content, however, the program is only mediocre and is inconsistent in age targeting.
Reader Rabbit's Preschool [for ages 3 to 5] from The Learning Company provides valuable activities for letter and sound recognition, and shapes and patterns. An excellent early learning tool for pre-schoolers, with better program navigation than the latest release.
Fisher-Price Ready for PreSchool [for ages 2 to 4] from Knowledge Adventure, provides a fun way for the young child to acquire beginning computer, early pre-reading, and pre-math skills through engaging activities. Young users also will learn to follow directions, and complete assigned tasks.
JumpStart Preschool [for ages 2 to 4] from Knowledge Adventure provides 10 skill-based activities, each with three levels of difficulty. Enchanting environment for young users draws them back.
Sesame Street Elmo's PreSchool [for ages 2 to 5] from Creative Wonders, is best for the very young computer user who is content with simple, straightforward pre-reading and pre-math activities.
Disney's Mickey Mouse Preschool [for ages 2 to 4] from Disney Interactive, offers simple preschool learning fundamentals in a non-threatening environment that's especially appealing to young boys.
MyWork [for ages 3 to 6] from CD Garden, introduces young children to the computer and the world of discovery it can provide. Unusual art and design activities are especially intriguing and attractive to kids much older than the listed age range.
Disney's Winnie the Pooh Preschool [for ages 2 to 4] from Disney Interactive offers solid, if not terribly innovative learning activities and features a familiar and lovable cast.
Dr. Seuss Preschool [for ages 2 to 4] from Broderbund is a solid choice for kids who love Dr. Seuss characters.
Bear's Imagine That! [for ages 3 to 6] from Knowledge Adventure features Jim Henson muppet characters, and encourages kids to challenge their imagination as they venture throughout the Big Blue House.
Buddy Brush and the Painted Circus [for ages 2 to 6] from Ideas That Play, is a very simple creativity program, which makes no attempt at teaching or drilling traditional classroom skills. The program encourages kids to experiment with color, patterns, matching sets, logic and music in a circus setting.